History of EarthCraft

Southface and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association developed the EarthCraft high-performance building certification program in 1999 to address the challenging energy, water and climate conditions in the Southeast. Providing a practical blueprint for green building and sustainable development, the EarthCraft family of programs has grown from single-family homes to include multifamily units, light commercial spaces, historical preservation and community certifications. Over the course of EarthCraft’s history, more than 50,000 homes, multifamily units, light commercial spaces and communities have been certified.

Benefits of Owning an EarthCraft Property

EarthCraft-certified properties provide the following advantages to their occupants.

  • Increased quality of life through improved air quality:
    • EarthCraft-certified buildings provide healthier and safer indoor environments than traditional structures because they are designed to maximize indoor air quality and minimize exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants.
    • Employees that work in EarthCraft-certified properties have cited an increased quality of life at work and improved
    • performance and productivity.
    • EarthCraft buildings have built-in ventilation systems that provide fresh air and reduce moisture and the potential of mold.
    • Maintaining indoor comfort is ensured through a well-built, well-insulated building envelope, as well as a properly sized and installed heating and cooling system.
  • A smart financial decision for renters or homeowners.
    • Building occupants save money from day one on utility bills through lower operating and maintenance costs.
    • EarthCraft properties, especially homes, often spend fewer days on the market and have a higher resale value than comparable conventional homes and buildings.
  • Conservation of energy, water and natural resources:
    • Materials that meet EarthCraft’s requirements are durable, low-maintenance, recycled and rapidly renewable.
    • EarthCraft homes, on average, are 30% more energy-efficient, which can result in a reduction of over 1,100 pounds of greenhouse gases introduced into the atmosphere each year.
    • EarthCraft properties conserve water through highly-efficient fixtures, reducing stormwater pollution.


“Working with EarthCraft was beneficial… to build an environmentally friendly building to serve up to 100 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The process was collaborative and educational, resulting in a cost-effective, state-of-the-art building… promoting energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.”

– Rick Aranson, CEO of Jewish Family & Career Services

“Working in conjunction with EarthCraft, we successfully brought to life a community that allows our residents to enjoy reduced utility bills due to environmentally conscious building practices. It also provides residents with a comfortable living environment while participating in effective sustainability practices.”

– Joe Wilber, Senior VP Investments, East, Gables Residential

“Working with EarthCraft has helped Serenbe become a model for sustainable developments around the country. Building homes and commercial buildings that are EarthCraft-certified has not only provided residents with lower utility bills but also the knowledge on environmentally-conscious practices that ultimately lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. This partnership has provided education on how to build in accordance to nature, rather than against it, and we could not be more thankful or proud to continue working with such an impactful organization.”

– Steve Nygren, Founder of Serenbe